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Fortnightly Magazine - May 2012

states with a generating capacity of nearly 2,000 MW. All wind projects in the Capistrano portfolio are expected to have long-term power sales agreements in place with electric utilities and will be operational at the time of investment. EMG will manage and retain an equity interest. Initial projects in the portfolio include the 61-MW Mountain Wind I and 80-MW Mountain Wind II projects, both located in Wyoming, as well as the 150-MW Cedro Hill project in Texas. Projects to be acquired when they become operational include the 42-MW Crofton Bluffs project and the 80-MW Broken Bow project, both under construction in Nebraska. Capistrano plans to acquire additional projects from EMG in the future, eventually up to seven projects totaling 500 MW. TIAA-CREF and CIRI committed $460 million of capital to the partnership, which includes an up-front investment of $238 million to acquire the first three operating wind projects.

Algonquin Power Co. , Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp’s renewable power generation subsidiary, agreed to acquire a 480-MW portfolio of four wind power projects in the United States from Gamesa Corporación Tecnológica, S.A. for $888 million. The portfolio consists of four facilities, Minonk (200 MW), Senate (150 MW), Pocahontas Prairie (80 MW) and Sandy Ridge (50 MW) located in the states of Illinois, Texas, Iowa and Pennsylvania, respectively. Pocahontas Prairie and Sandy Ridge began operating in February 2012, and Senate and Minonk are in construction with startup anticipated in late 2012. The projects are comprised of 240 Gamesa G9X-2.0 MW wind turbines. Gamesa is contracted to provide operations, warranty, and maintenance services for the wind turbines and balance of plant facilities for 20 years.

First Wind obtained $236 million in financing for its 69 MW Kawailoa wind project on Kamehameha Schools’ Kawailoa Plantation lands on Oahu’s north shore. The project obtained a $220 million non-recourse construction and term loan and $16 million in letters of credit.  Union Bank served as administrative agent and joint lead arranger, along with Bayern LB, Rabobank, and Siemens Financial Services. CIBC and CoBank also participated in the financing. Early construction work began in December 2011 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2012. Major construction work, including delivery and erection of turbines, is expected to begin this summer. First Wind says that once complete, the project will be the largest wind energy facility in Hawaii.

Transmission

ITC Transmission selected Quanta Services Michigan subsidiary Iron Mountain to build the first segment of the Thumb Loop high-voltage transmission line. Phase 1 of the double-circuit, 345,000-volt (345 kV) line will extend about 62 miles from the site of the new Bauer substation in Tuscola County, to the new Rapson substation in Huron County in the state’s Thumb region. Line construction began in early April and will continue into 2013, with crews drilling pole foundations, installing steel monopole and lattice structures, and stringing conductors. ITC has negotiated easement agreements and established access points for equipment and materials along a 200-foot-wide transmission corridor.

Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC) contracted Siemens Power Technologies International (PTI) to deliver WECC’s Base Case Coordination System (BCCS) planning tool. Based on Siemens PTI’s Model on